Our all-renewable energy hotel in Swindon won the edie Built Environment Project of the Year Award!
Opened in October 2023, the 195-bedroom site is the first of our 800+ hotels to be fully powered by renewable energy, designed and built without a connection to a natural gas supply.
The Built Environment Project of the Year Award recognises construction, infrastructure and green building projects that have delivered significant emission reductions and environmental gains, celebrating projects that have led the way towards a net-zero built environment over the past 18 months. The winners were announced on 15th November at an awards ceremony in central London, recognising the work being done by organisations as well as individuals to lead the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
Our fourth hotel in Swindon – and our first all-renewable energy Premier Inn – marks a significant milestone towards Whitbread’s commitment to reaching no operational emissions by 2040 and net zero by 2050 – targets which have been approved by the gold standard Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Our Swindon hotel’s innovative features include:
- Energy-efficient air-to-water Mitsubishi Q-Ton CO2 heat pumps to heat water, as well as low energy LED lighting with lighting controls and metering connected to a battery monitoring system with auto monitoring and targeting of energy use
- Solar PV panels on-site, and only renewable electricity purchased from the grid – in line with all of Whitbread’s owned operations in the UK and Germany
- A building envelope designed to meet BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standards, using an innovative Passivhaus-influenced ‘fabric first’ design to optimise energy use
- Minimised heat exchange with the outside by using natural sunlight and re-using heat generated by electrical equipmen
- Mechanical ventilation with passive heat recovery and an air source heat pump to keep the building at an optimal temperature in all seasons
Will Silverwood, Head of Sustainability at Whitbread, said:
“We are thrilled that Whitbread, and our new Swindon Town Centre hotel, has been recognised in these awards. We have been trialling energy and water saving technologies across our estate for many years and it is exciting to see us push the boundaries again at Swindon. The design is significant as it will become the blueprint for all future new build Premier Inns in time and will help us move away from fossil fuels that we are committed to.”
Our trailblazing, 100% renewable energy hotel opened on October 16th 2023. Ahead of the opening, our 46 on-site team members undertook over 160 hours of volunteer work with the Salvation Army in Swindon to tidy, replant and repaint the gardens, workshop and emergency accommodation at Booth House in town. The incredible team has also raised more than £1,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH) – and they’re just getting started!
Jim Robbins, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said:
“I’m proud to see Whitbread take the lead and invest directly in Swindon with a large new sustainable hotel on a site that was once an old Council office building, especially as it aligns with our own Achieve Net Zero Mission. Its all-electric design shows what can be achieved even in tight town centre locations and I hope the new hotel encourages other investors and developers in Swindon to follow suit and invest in low carbon design elsewhere in the town centre.”
"One of our main goals is to remove mains gas connections from our estate by 2040, and we’ll be learning from the design and operation of Swindon Town Centre to help inform our emissions-reducing retrofit of other Premier Inn hotels. Plus, from 2026, all of our new Premier Inn hotels will be built to this specification."
Richard Aldread, our Head of Construction in the UK regions and Ireland, said:
“By welcoming guests to our first all-electric budget hotel in the UK, we are opening the doors on the future. Swindon’s 100% renewably powered Premier Inn shows that sustainability and affordability can be two sides of the same coin and is part of a string of investments in innovative, sustainable properties at Whitbread.
“We have ambitious plans to expand the number of Premier Inn bedrooms towards our long-term potential of 125,000 rooms in the UK and Ireland, up from 83,500 currently, and this should not happen at the expense of net zero commitments.
“Premier Inn Swindon Town Centre is our first all-electric hotel without connection to a mains gas supply and is the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to designing and operating lower-carbon hotels – which has helped us reduce direct operational emissions by over 50% since 2016. It represents a significant milestone as we endeavour to bring our operational emissions to zero by 2040.”
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